Among other programs President Joe Biden announced during the conference was the “Climate Gender Equity Fund,” which will “leverage private sector contributions to help provide women climate leaders with technical skills, networks, and capital to develop and scale climate solutions,” according to a statement from the White House. The program was seeded by $3 million from USAID and $3 million from Amazon.
“As an important step in solving climate change, we must address the gender inequalities that persist in climate finance, and ensure female entrepreneurs have an equal seat at the table and access to the funding, networks, and technical support they need to scale climate solutions,” Amazon Worldwide Sustainability Vice President Kara Hurst said in a statement. “We’re proud to collaborate with USAID and the Biden administration to help scale women-led climate solutions globally.”
The e-commerce company argued that female entrepreneurs are “more likely than their male counterparts” to address social needs, lamenting that only a fraction of global venture capital is devoted toward female-founded companies. Amazon will commit an additional $50 million toward climate technology companies led by women.
The White House also launched the “Indigenous Peoples Finance Access Facility,” a $2 million program that will enable “continued climate stewardship by Indigenous peoples and local communities improving their access to climate finance.”
Biden attended the conference to “galvanize global action and commitments” with respect to climate change. Among other programs, the administration will also devote $150 million toward the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience in Africa and launch a new initiative to promote wind and solar development in Egypt. The commander-in-chief similarly announced efforts to limit methane emissions from natural gas production among American energy companies, thereby rendering America the “first national government” requiring that suppliers abide by the Paris Agreement.
The Biden administration recently enacted the Inflation Reduction Act, which contains $369 billion for climate initiatives, including tax credits for new electric vehicles. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which passed at the end of last year, also includes provisions for electric vehicles and other renewable energy projects.
Disruptions from lockdown policies across the globe and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led to constrained energy supplies, particularly in developing countries and the European continent. World leaders assembled at COP27, which is sponsored by the United Nations, nevertheless called for large and small economies to reconsider their “addiction” to fossil fuels.
“Today’s crises cannot be an excuse for backsliding or greenwashing. If anything, they are a reason for greater urgency, stronger action and effective accountability,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said. “Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing. Global temperatures keep rising. And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”
Despite Guterres exhorting developed economies to cease coal production within the next decade, China recently switched to burning more coal as droughts disrupt hydropower generation capacity, while Germany, the largest economy in Europe, has likewise reverted to consuming the fuel as natural gas supplies remain tight. China and Saudi Arabia have partnered to strengthen cooperation on ensuring stable long-term crude oil supplies, a development that occurs as relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia grow cold.